If you talk to any Service Desk agent, they will agree there has been an explosion in IT tickets since the transition to remote and hybrid work. Even now, there are growing challenges preventing them from being able to reduce IT incidents. In the last year, average ticket volume has risen by 16% since the pandemic, stressing already overtaxed help desk agents. This increase in tickets has led to wasted resources, poor IT service delivery and frustrated employees.
But this unwieldy and never-ending pile of IT tickets doesn’t have to be the new normal. IT team can take new approaches and strategies to dig themselves out from under the backlog and set up a new workflow that proactively addresses issues, creating a better digital experience for employees, and a more productive work environment for IT teams.
Benefits of IT Incident Reduction
If Service Desk agents rely only on tickets to understand digital experience issues, the end result is inevitable: a growing pile of tickets that doesn’t represent all the issues impacting employees. An IT incident reduction strategy that considers the full digital employee experience can help Service Desk agents go from reactive ticket remediation to proactive incident resolution. And this kind of IT approach can have myriad benefits for the entire enterprise.
A proactive approach to IT can not only reduce the pile up of existing tickets but can reduce the number of recurring tickets coming into the Service Desk. With Service Desk agents spending less time reactively solving IT tickets one at a time, they can better allocate their resources to proactively identifying issues and solving them at scale for all impacted employees before a ticket is submitted. As a result, agents are more efficient, resources are better allocated, and employees are less disrupted. With every automation and fix at scale, Service Desk teams can point to the man hours saved due to IT incident reduction.
How to Reduce IT Incidents
With Service Desk teams stretched thin, it is no wonder the top goal for these teams is, “Improve my team’s productivity through the use of automation,” according to the 2021 State of Service Management Report.
Automation is one of the many tools that Service Desk teams can use for incident reduction. The five tips below show how your organization can identify and fix issues proactively and solve them at scale before any employees are impacted.
If your Service Desk team is looking at one ticket at a time, they are missing the big picture. In order to achieve incident reduction, your team needs a clear view of what your employees are experiencing to properly identify and/or fix it.
By providing Service Desk agents real-time insights and data about the devices, applications, and networks in your digital workplace, they can monitor drops in technical performance as well as employee-reported sentiment. With this data, your team can quickly identify issues that could become major incidents and drill-down into these red flags to determine the source of the issue and resolve it before it becomes a problem.
Don’t let recurring issues hold your Service Desk team back. Repeatedly solving the same issue wastes time and resources hurting the productivity of both the Service Desk agent and the employee. Instead, once an L1 agent spots an incident, they should take the time to proactively drill-down and immediately identify every device with the same problem. Instead of solving one at a time, they can scale the fix across every impacted employee. No help desk ticket or appointment needed for incident reduction.
Automation is the top goal of Service Desk teams for a reason. Although it takes more work up front, setting up smart automation resolves issues quickly and effectively with single-click fixes and investigations. By setting up a remote action from behind the scenes, your team can solve issues without disrupting employees. For example, an American multinational information technology company used 15 automated remediations to close 105,000 tickets and saw productivity gains of over 47,000 hours. As this technology company saw, automations resulted in significant incident reduction making it easier and easier to spot further opportunities to use them.
Employees want a resolution as fast as possible, and a self-service portal or chatbot can do that by avoiding unnecessary IT-employee interaction. Instead of researching a fix themselves or submitting a ticket and waiting for someone to reach out, employees can immediately access the help and support they need through a chatbot and/or self-service portal.
For example, if an employee is experiencing one of the recurring IT issues your team resolved through automation, you can add this to your self-help portal so that when employees log in, they are given the option to resolve the issue themselves in a single click. This same 1-click fix can also be available through a self-help chatbot, which presents the solution to the impacted employee. Both examples provide an incident reduction without having to interact with IT, saving man hours and allowing for resources to be better allocated to more pressing issues or projects.
Not every fix can be resolved in the background. Some fixes require employee consent. For example, you wouldn’t restart a computer or clear their disk without employee sign off. In these instances, you need to get the employee’s attention so they can quickly take action to resolve the issue.
But helping while not disrupting is a fine line. Rather than a batch and blast email, your team can send a targeted pop-up notifications to impacted employees only, which ensures a high response rate and issue resolution, without having to schedule a one-on-one appointment. With this proactive approach, your team can drive significant incident reduction by solving the issue before the employee submits a ticket.
Incident reduction is integral to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Service Desk and the five steps above will help you scale your Service Desk and save man hours. However, these productivity gains have another key benefit, improving the employee experience. Less disruption, less time lost, less frustration: all of these digital employee experience factors contribute to the success of your business. In the post-pandemic workplace, IT can lead the way, architect a new state of workflow in the digital ecosystem, and bring the success of their employees and business with them.